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War and peace, m20?


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Went to France via le tunnel for the day last Tuesday (oh joy on the M20….), and would offer the following observations / advice if you happen to encounter similar problems on the day you travel:


On our way down (probably soon after the real problems started) there did not appear to be any police control other than right at the tunnel junction - quite some miles back the inside lane became slow and then came to a stop. We eventually discovered this was caused by trucks trying to find gaps in the line of those parked up on hard shoulder in order to park up themselves, and other trucks pulling out of the park line. After start/stop for miles we managed to get into middle lane just before speed differential made it impossible (we could have been stuck for hours). If you find a similar situation I'd suggest that, as soon as traffic speed permits, you get into the middle lane until the junction for racecourse.


On our return we passed maybe 10 miles of what we calculated was around 1200 trucks parked up in (at times) both inside and outside lanes - with only the middle lane open. After a couple of miles of clear road behind the parked trucks we noticed all traffic held by police - they seemed to be directing the trucks destined for parking into either inside or outside lanes, thereby freeing the middle lane for cars and non-ferry traffic to get out of the log jam and make their way past the truck park. Quite a job for them to manage.


Good luck!


Just make sure you do not inadvertently join the tail end of the parked trucks!

Edited by N.O.S.
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Living near M20 at Ashford, I know the there are very little problems now, except where you near the Channel Tunnel where it has been building up at times, so advice is if there are reports of tailbacks at the tunnel, leave the M20 at Junc. 10 (Ashford South) and head down to A20, it is actually less miles. Once through Sellindge village you will pass Airport Café on left and exhibitor entrance is not far past that.

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Further to my email last night, as the Operation Stack situation on M20 is still going on some sections, I recommend watching the following webpage for up to the minute news direct from the Kent Police Traffic crews who are dealing with it.



Current situation at Thurs 16th 0800, is Junc 8 (Maidstone) to Junc 9 (Ashford North) is closed Eastbound to stack lorries waiting for ferries. This means a diversion of leaving M20 at Junc 8 and using A20 to Ashford, then back on to M20 at Junc 9 to avoid going through Ashford town

Edited by Richard Farrant
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Richard - that was my first experience of M20 channel congestion. Reckon when we hit it at 10.30am the other Tuesday it had built up unexpectedly (due to tunnel closure) and maybe had caught the police off-guard. They were certainly in control at J10 which was clear.


At each junction on the way down all lanes became slow so you think 'ok this is all blocked ahead' (especially with the radio giving out dire warnings of delays), but then the inside finally came to a halt while the other lanes cleared. Once finally at each junction the inside lanes cleared with no indication of problem for another mile or so.


But who knows, maybe we were in the middle of a rolling police road block and another was being set up behind us.


Certainly on our return up the M20 around 20.00 it looked well in control with what appeared to be a combination of stacking and retaining some degree of traffic flow.


Take plenty of water - for both driver and radiator! :)

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(Copy posted elsewhere)

As of yesterday (22/7) Stack is back in operation and freight is stacked from Jct 8-9, traffic coming off at 8 was HEAVY. More by luck than judgement we came yesterday via the A/M2 then as far as Canterbury, took the A28, then A2070, then A20, perhaps a little further and longer than usual but had no holdups and completely avoided the M20.


Of course this is only applicable for those coming clockwise around the M25 over Dartford.


This may be old news now as knock on effects may have made this option congested too.


Good luck people!

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I am hoping to take the cross country route from Brighton on Saturday morning, avoiding all the chaos.. Does anyone know where the entrance to the public campsite is? I have not booked yet (so don't have the info pack they send out) and I am just going to turn up and pay for the weekend.

Just slightly worried that if I turn up to the wrong entrance on the morning of the busiest day of the week, it may take me ages to get back to the right entrance with everyone elso using the back roads to avoid the M20.

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It looks from the traffic as if everyone at first avoided the M20 by going on the A20 and then once this was known everyone else switched to coming down from M25 to the South Coast via the A21 in the hope of going to Rye, then up the coast a bit before turning towards Folkestone. Others have come south from Canterbury area. So I'd be interested to know whether this will put off the typical family from going.

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